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The danger of breeding to form


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#1 Pippin's person

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 07:29 PM

The New York Times published this article about the bulldog. Much has been written about bulldogs of course, but this shows another unconscionable aspect of the American Kennel Club. Particularly telling in that regard Is the fact that the AKC has no interest in insisting on a change to the deplorable breeding practices that have resulted in the modern bulldog.

It's so depressing.
Robin: One of the two people
Renzo: First dog, resident non-BC
Pippin, Rafe, Kyzer, Lad, Zac, and Scout: the BC crew
Fox, Lars, Milo and Xeno: Kitties
Rest in Peace:  Theka, Macchi, Ness, Fritz, Inji and Tansy

#2 Pippin's person

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 08:00 PM

Subtitle should have read English Bulldog, not American Bulldog.
Robin: One of the two people
Renzo: First dog, resident non-BC
Pippin, Rafe, Kyzer, Lad, Zac, and Scout: the BC crew
Fox, Lars, Milo and Xeno: Kitties
Rest in Peace:  Theka, Macchi, Ness, Fritz, Inji and Tansy

#3 Maralynn

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 08:26 PM

That article is really sad, but it brings the facts out quite well. I researched the breed a little bit earlier this year. Then I just sat back and shook my head.

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#4 juliepoudrier

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 09:16 PM

Sad, but not surprising. I especially love the comments from the breeders that if the dogs don't look like they do right now then they wouldn't be bulldogs. Never mind that they look nothing like the originals and that average Joe would still recognize them even with the slight modifications that have been proposed. The human ego is an amazing thing.....

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#5 Smalahundur

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 04:46 AM

And equally sad, only one of many breeds that are on their way down the drain (if they haven´t been washed down already).

I did find a positive sentence in the article;
"The breed is a rare bit of good news for the A.K.C., which is suffering a long-term decline in registrations".

Long term decline huh, maybe the general public is catching on...

#6 waffles

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 09:25 AM

I know a bulldog that has so many thick wrinkles on his face that his eyes are barely visible. His skin is awful looking and his breathing is so loud it would irritate me at home. He is not overweight but his body structure is so bizarre that he can barely take a slow walk for 10 minutes. When cutting his nails you have to take a break several times because he gets worked up and can't breath. He doesn't get any more worked up than the average dog who dislikes his nails being trimmed but because of his face shape he can't breath if he gets the slightest bit excited. This dog looks like death to me but his owner thinks he is wonderfully breed, an AKC dog from "champion" lines.

#7 terrecar

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 10:22 AM

My perspective about breeding changed mostly because of what I saw in the companion animal welfare environment. However, I guess the thing that caused me to become disillusioned with conformation showing was my own experience with Dachshunds, a chondrodystrophoid breed whose bad design exacerbates the problem.

I was fortunate. The dogs I had that "went down" with bad discs came back up with nonsurgical treatment. I learned to keep my Dachshunds on totally flat surfaces; no jumping; no stairs, so that my last one lived until she was 16 without too many problems (even with x-rays that showed calcification along her spine). But when the DCA IVD booklet notes that 25% of Dachshunds will have some sort of disc related problem in their lifetime, well, it makes you think. That's a relatively large percentage. EDIT: In my opinion

#8 Grizel

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 09:29 AM

Conformation breeding seems to be reaching some sort of critical mass. Lately, it seems everyone I know with a conformation bred dog has a crazy story to tell.

For example, a friend of mine with collies told me that there was a blind dog with terrible movement at her specialty. That didn't stop him from being a very in-demand stud, because of the beautiful blue he produces.

Another friend's Bernese Mountain Dog was recently diagnosed with myasthenia gravis. You can image how fun dealing with that is. There is now a simple test to screen for the MG gene. When she contacted the breeder, she asked if she would test her breeding stock (many of whom are related to her dog). The breeder said airly, "I don't think so - money is tight right now." She is, however, planning on continuing her breeding program. This breeder is in good standing and an active participant in conformation. Needless to say, my friend swore off purebreed dogs on the spot.

There have always been breeders that cut corners, but the cavalier attitudes here seem a little extreme. Certainly it would difficult for a conscientious to compete against these practices. My guess is that as the numbers go down, this kind of thing will be more and more common.

#9 juliepoudrier

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 09:32 AM

Even though it may amount to nothing, I think I were the owner of a dog with genetic problems and the breeder didn't seem to care, I'd be writing letters of complaint to any venue that I think could possibly pressure such breeders to shape up.

J.

I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream.

~Vincent van Gogh



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Julie Poudrier
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Willow (6/1997-5/2014, run free), Boy (3/1995-10/2010, RIP), Jill (8/1996-5/2012, RIP), Farleigh, Twist, Kat, Lark, Phoebe, Pipit, and Birdie!
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#10 MyTDogs

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 12:54 AM

The New York Times published this article about the bulldog. Much has been written about bulldogs of course, but this shows another unconscionable aspect of the American Kennel Club. Particularly telling in that regard Is the fact that the AKC has no interest in insisting on a change to the deplorable breeding practices that have resulted in the modern bulldog.

It's so depressing.


Ahh the Bulldog, or as my boss (veterinary dermatologist) likes to call them, the Jaguar of dogs. She also likes to say that we are the Jaguar specialists :)

When we see them they are usually pretty bad- some with oozing green rotten tail fold infections :blink:

Some have really great personalities & it always makes me sad to see what we've done to them. Some of my coworkers think they are cute & can't understand why I am almost in tears. IMO, it is inhumane to breed such defects into an animal.
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#11 Maja

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 07:37 AM

Grizel,
Could you point me somewhere towards this test?
maja

#12 Eileen Stein

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 01:02 PM

This article merits close, attentive reading. It provides so many insights into AKC culture, and into the fundamental, puzzling question: How can people who love their dogs and their breed deliberately breed them to be defective?

But they're good people! They love their dogs! Their dogs are their whole lives! They're responsible breeders! They spare no expense and never stint on vet care! They are respected by their peers! They produce champions!

How can they fail to see what is so glaringly, painfully obvious?

Thanks, Robin.

#13 terrecar

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 06:42 PM

But they're good people! They love their dogs! Their dogs are their whole lives! They're responsible breeders! They spare no expense and never stint on vet care! They are respected by their peers!


Ha! I could tell you stories... Those 'good people' can get mighty cut-throat. But I'm guessing you don't need me to tell you that.

#14 geonni banner

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 07:00 PM

But they're good people! They love their dogs! Their dogs are their whole lives! They're responsible breeders! They spare no expense and never stint on vet care! They are respected by their peers! They produce champions!


Ahem. Yeah, sure.

I have known lots of AKC show breeders. Nice folks with big Winnebagos. Smiley-smile! Ambassadors for the breed!

Let's see...

Faked papers. Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs with surgically altered ears. Merle to merle breedings with the defective pups going in the bucket. Selling pups to pet stores. Dogs croaking of cancer at the age of three. Dogs needing sedation so they wouldn't freak out and bite the judge. Selling older brood bitches that were so kennel-bound the new owners still couldn't touch them after 3 months. Six month old stud dogs. It's endless...

I knew one lady who kept a rack of ground spices on the grooming table - you know, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. She combed it into the dog's hair, instead of chalk, to avoid being excused from the ring for chalking. Her dogs were very poofy and smelled like friggin' potpourri.



 


#15 terrecar

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 07:57 PM

Just to disassociate myself from some of the accusations of more extreme infractions...

I have never known an AKC show breeder to fake registrations, sell to pet stores or promote merle to merle breedings. In fact, every breeder I've known has been very much against those specific things. I'm not accusing anyone of dishonesty, I'm just saying that I've been behind the scenes as a handler and breed club member (but not a breeder), showed in Jr. Showmanship as a kid and showed my own and others' dogs up until 1999. In short, I traveled in those circles--I didn't just have friends or aquaintances or friends of friends there--and those practices are very alarming to me. I don't know what else to say.

Having said that, there is a lot that one can criticize in 'the fancy', including the 'form follows function' paradigm. And the 'fixing' absolutely goes on. Hell, it doesn't just go on, it's rampant! Some very well known professional handlers are guilty of it.

EDIT: Just as an aside...I am not finished reading Dog Wars, but I absolutely choked myself laughing at the author's account of offering his opinion of dog shows to the almighty AKC. I so got it.

#16 Pippin's person

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 08:11 PM

This article merits close, attentive reading. It provides so many insights into AKC culture, and into the fundamental, puzzling question: How can people who love their dogs and their breed deliberately breed them to be defective?

But they're good people! They love their dogs! Their dogs are their whole lives! They're responsible breeders! They spare no expense and never stint on vet care! They are respected by their peers! They produce champions!

How can they fail to see what is so glaringly, painfully obvious?

Thanks, Robin.


This was my thinking exactly (appearing as it did while the "Bridges" thread was developing).
Robin: One of the two people
Renzo: First dog, resident non-BC
Pippin, Rafe, Kyzer, Lad, Zac, and Scout: the BC crew
Fox, Lars, Milo and Xeno: Kitties
Rest in Peace:  Theka, Macchi, Ness, Fritz, Inji and Tansy

#17 rushdoggie

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 09:43 PM

I have never known an AKC show breeder to fake registrations, sell to pet stores or promote merle to merle breedings. In fact, every breeder I've known has been very much against those specific things. I'm not accusing anyone of dishonesty, I'm just saying that I've been behind the scenes as a handler and breed club member (but not a breeder), showed in Jr. Showmanship as a kid and showed my own and others' dogs up until 1999. In short, I traveled in those circles--I didn't just have friends or aquaintances or friends of friends there--and those practices are very alarming to me. I don't know what else to say.


I have a lot of friends active in AKC events and I have had the same experience.

Having said that, there is a lot that one can criticize in 'the fancy', including the 'form follows function' paradigm.

Amen. And that's enough.

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#18 geonni banner

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 10:13 PM

Just to disassociate myself from some of the accusations of more extreme infractions...

I have never known an AKC show breeder to fake registrations, sell to pet stores or promote merle to merle breedings. In fact, every breeder I've known has been very much against those specific things. I'm not accusing anyone of dishonesty, I'm just saying that I've been behind the scenes as a handler and breed club member (but not a breeder), showed in Jr. Showmanship as a kid and showed my own and others' dogs up until 1999. In short, I traveled in those circles--I didn't just have friends or aquaintances or friends of friends there--and those practices are very alarming to me. I don't know what else to say.


I'm glad your experience of the show world was free of these things. They are not pretty. But they do happen. I've seen it firsthand. I too knew breeders who wouldn't dream of such things, but I've seen these things done. 12 years in Collie rescue and several years working in vet clinics, grooming shops and working the local dog shows to promote Collie and Shetland Sheepdog rescue.

There were also breeders who stood by their pups and would take them back if the purchasers couldn't/didn't want to keep them for whatever reason - no matter how old or screwed up they were. There were breeders who donated food to help with the rescue dogs. And their were some who produced only one litter every two years after careful study of the dogs to be bred and their pedigrees.

But there were plenty who washed their hands of their pups, once they were sold, and who never fostered a rescue or picked up a stray that was obviously begging for help. And who pumped out pups like there was some kind of puppy shortage going on. Five or six litters a year were not uncommon - while I was pulling young, healthy Collies out of the pound on a regular basis.

This should really come as no surprise. Th AKC is a rotten tree that bears rotten fruit, and though there are some nice (not to say deluded, naive, or just simply sitting there with their eyes closed and hands over their ears singing, "LA-LA-LA-LA-LA!") people who really believe they are doing the right thing for the right reason, there are plenty more who saw the writing on the wall and got out. Some of them are right here on the Boards. Like ME for instance.
ETA: Thanks, Rushdoggie...



 


#19 terrecar

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 10:24 PM

I have a lot of friends active in AKC events and I have had the same experience.


Do you mean you have had the same experience as me, or as the other poster?

#20 terrecar

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 10:44 PM

Regardless of whether or not it 'should' come as any surprise, it does. I've never seen those practices among show breeders. Those puppy mills and BYB's that engage in such practices are also AKC breeders. So, there is plenty of AKC criticism to go around.

I just don't think I'd have much integrity if I let my "surprise" that SHOW breeders would do those things slip. Just as I wouldn't let slip someone who faked papers or sold to pet shops. I would have been alerting the AKC for the former (that is one thing they actually do care about) and the breed club for the latter (most bylaws forbid sales to pet shops). But that's just me.

EDIT: Most bylaws or code of ethics address sales to pet shops is what I meant


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